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by CareyBot

For many real estate agents, starting a blog can be a daunting task. Let me first say this: if you don’t enjoy writing, or it is a chore for you, blogging may not be for you. However, the great thing about blogging is you don’t have to have your Master’s degree in English to write a great blog.

Your blog is your opinion on various subjects.

For real estate agents, your blog will probably include your opinion about your local market area, the communities you serve, local and national real estate laws, local lending trends, opinions about schools and neighborhoods, and much more.

Here are 5 elements to having a successful real estate agent blog:

1. Be consistent. One of the most important elements to blogging is to write consistently. When I first started blogging for FOREM, one thing that made a huge difference, was setting a blog schedule. For me, I am committed to 3 blog posts a week. By having that commitment, it makes it a priority for me. It also lets my readers know that I am serious about this blog, and readers more likely to follow it because they know content will be fresh! Tip: Look at your calendar and schedule 2 to 3 days a week that you will post your blog posts. Factor in the time needed to write, edit and publish.

2. Post local content. If I was a real estate agent, one of my blog posts every week would be a fun fact about the community or fun community event going on in the area. You hear it time and time again, but being the local source of great content is key. Still don’t think there is value in local content? If you haven’t already, check out this Facebook page started by a Realtor in Washington – all those posts originate from his blog. Did you see how many fans he has? As of right now, he has almost 9,000 fans! That’s the power of local content. Tip: Get local content from chamber web sites, downtown association web sites and your local newspaper online.

3. Post market stats BUT in an easy to understand way. Let’s face it: charts, graphs and an excessive amount of numbers are not very exciting for most of us. So post great market stats, but keep it to a couple graphs. The KEY is to add your opinion and your input to the market data. What trends do you see? What are some great finds you saw on Brokers Tour? What are your clients saying they are looking for. The story behind any stat is what makes a blog post engaging to read! Tip: Get local market stats from your local MLS, regional association, or from Altos Research – one of my favorite market stat companies for agents.

4. Do not post negative posts. There are many schools of thoughts about what type of blog posts to post – but in my experience it is best to ‘take the high road’ and not use your real estate blog for your ‘soapbox’ of negative experiences. Keep it positive and people will respect you even more. Tip: If you aren’t sure whether to post something or not, write it, save it as a draft, and re-visit it the next day. Giving time to mull over a blog post gives you time to think if it is worth publishing.

5. Promote it! You can’t just ‘build it and it will come!’ You need to make sure you are promoting every blog post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and through your email list. For Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn you should re-post your blog post 3-5 times. I know many people think it is a “no no” to repeat content but I completely disagree – just ask Guy Kawasaki who notoriously repeats content on his Twitter stream. By re-posting your blog posts 3-5 times on these channels throughout the course of 2-3 days, your web traffic will be much higher. Remember, most people are only on their social networks for pockets of time throughout the day – so if you promote your blog on Facebook in the morning – you may be missing afternoon traffic.  Tip: Use Hootsuite – you can integrate your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles AND control what day/time your post goes out. Once you have your blog post done, log into Hootsuite and post a quick message with your link to your blog post and schedule the same message 3-5 times over the next 2 days. Here is a great blog post about all the things you can accomplish with Hootsuite, including some exciting new updates that happened this week.

Bonus: Want to see some great real estate agent examples? Check out this blog post Stacey Harmon just posted with examples of 32 real estate agent blog sites!

Do you have a blog you’d like to share? Do you have any tips to add to this list? I would love your feedback, please leave me a comment below!

Written by: Katie Lance, Marketing Manager, Inman News, @katielance